Waterford Irish Single Malt Whisky – Cuvée No.1 – Pilgrimage

Derrick Lin


Design: TrueOutput:
Location: Ireland
Project Type: Produced
Client: Waterford Distillery
Product Launch Location: Global
Packaging Contents: Irish Single Malt Whisky
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Paper, Board and Glass
Printing Process: Litho, Embossing and Foiling

Waterford Distillery is a unique project founded by a maverick of the modern whisky industry, Mark Reynier. Their aim is to produce the finest whiskies in the world using modern methods and systems never seen before in this sector. Their terroir driven, barley forward approach aims to show that where the barley is grown influences its flavour. Their inaugural 2020 release, 1st Cuvée Pilgrimage, needed to project their ethos and communicate that this is not your average whisky. This is something different, and something to challenge the status quo.

The limited edition bottle design and packaging needed to mark this occasion. The Pilgrimage took its name from the idea that people would make a pilgrimage to Waterford, Ireland in order to obtain their first bottle.

Our direction eschewed the usual industry approach and created something that evoked the product and made customers stop and take notice. We started with the bottle design. This was a real challenge to make something unique and practical – with the eye on creating an iconic classic. The contours on the bottom of the glass were inspired from the corrugated ridges on the distillery building itself, the furrows in a ploughed barley field and also suggest the layers of complexity in every bottle.

The glass stoppers were chosen as they are more reliable and cleaner than traditional corks. We customised them with our own colours and branding. We also like the idea that they can be reused (recycled) and not thrown away. The holographic finish echoes the outer packaging and label. The outer box provides strong protection for the contents inside. The design of the outside carries the logo and product name with Cuvée symbol foiled in holographic finish which suggest the spectrum of flavours within.

The cuvée symbols concentric circles represent the layering complexity and the multiple farms intersecting with the solid circle. Where they intersect creates the ‘hidden’ shape of a seed of barley. We avoided the use of plastic and specified FSC boards and papers throughout. Foiling and embossing are used to add layers of depth and tactility. The majority of these bottles were bought for collections where the box and bottle are proudly displayed together. We delivered the full brand Identity system, bottle design, and packaging design.

The bottle stands proudly apart from other whiskies and the overall packaging delivers the brand values of intrigue and exclusivity with an understated design.

What’s Unique?
The design breaks away from the familiar design approach found across Whisky. The image is of a modern, future looking brand that challenges the status quo. The bottle is a bespoke shape crafted with layers of detail and meaning, and opting for a non Whisky colour of blue. The custom glass stopper marries functionality practicality with a nod to traditional decanters. The use of Holographic foils translates the concept of the spectrum of flavours within. All decisions made ensure the most environmentally conscious process and production methods are adhered to.